Sagebooks Challenge

Author’s Note: Sagebooks HK is sponsoring The Sagebooks Challenge as we chronicle Glow Worm (4) and I going through their series for the first time. I am also guest posting on their Sagebooks HK Blog where I will be providing a time tested tip and a fun activity to help support you and your child as you go through the sets.

For our 15th week, we reviewed the first few lessons of Set 2 Book 1 of the Sagebooks HK Basic Chinese 500 series as well as continued through the book.


Sagebooks HK Basic Chinese 500 is a series of 5 sets of 5 books that teach your children how to read the top 500 high frequency characters in children’s books. You can find out more here.


I am an ABC/T and speak Mandarin 85% of the time to my four children (8, 6, 4, 1). My husband, Hapa Papa, only speaks English. We homeschool bilingually in Chinese and English and my older two children have already gone through the Sagebooks HK Basic Chinese 500. Glow Worm, (4) currently knows about 50 characters and this is the first time we are going through Sagebooks. He currently splits time between two Chinese preschools for 3 hours a day, 4 days a week.


I originally intended for Glow Worm to continue with the pace we had set and hit the halfway point of Set 2 Book 1.


Glow Worm needs to review characters and is not a robot. He cannot always remember everything and even if he hates to review, it doesn’t serve him or myself to move ahead when he cannot recognize the characters he just learned. In the end, we got through Lesson 2.1:11 and if I had made him read over the weekend, we likely would have hit our goal.


Because of nature attacking my oldest child, we did not go to kungfu much this week. Thus, I had to actually remember to do the lessons at home! This was both good and bad. Good because I could take more time and take pictures and videos without worrying about other people distracting Glow Worm or getting on the video. Bad because Sasquatch (1.5) hates me paying his brother any attention and demanded to learn and “read” next to Glow Worm.


Glow Worm is such a good sport. He knows how his little brother is and copes with Sasquatch a lot better than I do. In fact, Glow Worm knew to hand Sasquatch a Sagebook so that his little brother could feel as if he were also learning how to read. It took awhile for me to catch on that Sasquatch was not satisfied with just holding the Sagebook. He also wanted to sit next to Glow Worm and “read”!

Sorry for so many pictures. I just found the entire situation ridiculous and hilarious. That last pic, especially.  The look on Sasquatch’s face!!

Here’s a video of Glow Worm reading a Treasure Box Set 1 book, 女孩和鳥/nv3 hai2, he2 niao3/The Girl and the Bird/.

Here’s a video of Glow Worm reviewing Set 2 Book 1 Lesson 4.


Glow Worm still didn’t want to review lessons but I forced him to anyway. I may have had to initially bribe him with candy. Look. I’m not ashamed. He reviewed his lessons and didn’t feel bad and got to further tooth decay. I call it a win.

Some Observations

Glow Worm still cannot remember 他/ta/him or her/ and always says 把/ba3/handle/. And yet, he has ZERO problems recognizing 她/ta/her/. The brain is a weird and fascinating place.

Sagebooks Challenge Application

I still can’t believe we are almost done with our 4 month Sagebooks Challenge. Although I have gone through the sets before with my other two children, they already knew a lot of characters and thus, we blasted through all 25 books with great speed. I honestly was a little worried that Sagebooks wouldn’t actually work if we started mostly from scratch. I am so pleased to see that Sagebooks actually DOES work!

Are you following along with the weekly activities on the Sagebooks HK Blog? Have you checked out our accountability posts on the Sagebooks HK Parent Support Facebook Group? If not, there is still time before our Challenge ends. (Although, stay tuned. There’s exciting stuff in the works.)

See you all next week.

* I refer to the Sagebooks in this formula: Set#.Book#:Chapter#. So, if I am referring to the first set, book 3, and characters 14-16, it looks like: Book 1.3:14-16.